Clock change is optimum time to focus on driver safety
The firm's accident management data reveals the time changeovers always create spikes in incidents. In April 2009, the first month after the clocks switched to summertime, accidents dropped by 5% contrasted with a rise of more than 7% when the clocks went forward at the end of October last year. The trend was replicated earlier this year as April once again saw a 5% decrease in accidents.
'The statistics speak volumes and show the tell-tale signs of a general slowness to adapt to new driving conditions triggered by a sense of the winter blues,' said Judith Humphries, senior product manager, Masterlease.
'We want drivers to be more aware of the cooler and darker days and have put together some tips to help make the time adjustment safely. Taking that little bit of extra time can save lives and unnecessary damage to vehicles which will have a knock on cost to the business, particularly if they end up off the road for any lengthy repairs,' she said.
• Avoid dazzle from low sun by making sure that the windscreen is clean both inside and out
• Check and renew wiper blades, if necessary
• Add anti-freeze and screen wash with a good quality additive to reduce the chance of freezing in frosty weather
• Check batteries ahead of the winter and eliminate the chances of an inconvenient, unplanned flat
• Check all bulbs including brake and number plate lights
• Check the tread and ensure the correct pressure of tyres as road surfaces can be particularly slippery through wet and frosty weather
• Don’t forget to check the spare tyre
Masterlease is also warning fleet managers that they should say "no" to staff driving in adverse driving conditions, or lay out strict safety guidelines if Britain is once again gripped by arctic conditions, as it was in January of this year.
Ms Humphries, who heads up Masterlease’s risk management team, added: 'It is the responsibility of the employer and HR department to ensure that workers are not taking unnecessary risks. Now, more than ever businesses have to take a front-seat when it comes to ensuring the safety of their drivers.'